Although the traditional family sedan is no longer the family favorite, there are still plenty of reasons to own one, especially if the car is the 2019 Mazda6. Previous complaints about power and features have all been addressed, and with the exception of not offering all-wheel drive, when it comes to a reasonably priced mid-size family sedan, the 2019 Mazda6 is about as good as it gets. Whereas competitors such as the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord have taken to bold exterior designs with plenty of exaggerated creases and folds, the new Mazda6 keeps it simple, with elegant flowing lines, a large chrome-surround trapezoidal grille molding and brilliant paint colors.
Of course, as sedans go, this one offers the latest in driver-assist features and occupant safety. There’s plenty of room for four adults, with more rear-seat legroom than in a Volkswagen Jetta or a Nissan Altima. However, the Mazda6’s cargo area is about 1 cu ft. smaller than in new Altima.
What’s New for 2019?
For 2019, the Mazda6 drops its manual transmission option. The i-Activsense suite of driver assists (blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control) are now standard, as is Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus. See the 2019 Mazda6 models for sale near you
What We Like
- Elegant styling
- Fantastic interior
- Wide and comfortable seats
- Sporty ride
- Standard driver assists
What We Don’t
- Small trunk
- No hybrid or AWD option
- No more manual
- Turbo requires premium fuel
- Touchscreen lockouts when car is in motion
The 2019 Mazda6 Sport and Touring employ a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic is the only transmission option. The Mazda6’s fuel economy is rated at 26 miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.
Moving up to the Grand Touring and Signature trims brings a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine good for 250 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy for this engine is rated at 23 mpg city/31 mpg hwy.
Standard Features & Options
For 2019, the Mazda6 is offered in five trims: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve and Signature. The Grand Touring, Reserve and Signature trims offer a turbocharged engine.
The Mazda6 Sport($24,720) comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission, i-Activsense driver assist suite (high-speed emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and lane-departure warning, rain-sensing wipers, auto high-beam control and auto on/off headlights), G-Vectoring Control Plus, power-operated windows, mirrors and door locks, auto-leveling LED headlights, 17-in aluminum wheels, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote keyless entry and push-button start, cloth seats, a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, driver’s seat manual lumbar adjustment, a 60/40-split folding rear seat and the MazdaConnect infotainment system with an 8-in color touchscreen, AM/FM radio, HD Radio and 6 speakers. Also standard is Bluetooth and a rearview camera.
The Mazda6 Touring ($27,320) adds 19-in alloy wheels, a power glass moonroof, leatherette-trimmed sport seats, a 6-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, proximity key keyless entry and start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto,
The Mazda6 Grand Touring ($30,420) adds a 250-hp turbocharged engine, heated side mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, 11-speaker Bose Centerpoint 2 Surround Sound audio, SiriusXM, navigation and an auto-dimming driver’s side mirror.
The Mazda6 Grand Touring Reserve ($32,920) adds bright silver alloy wheels, a rear decklid spoiler, a windshield wiper de-icer, leather seating, an 8-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support and memory, a 6-way power passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a full-color active driver display with traffic-sign recognition, and adaptive headlights.
The Mazda6 Signature ($36,020) adds a gunmetal-finish front grille, a frameless auto-diming rearview mirror, Nappa leather seating, Ultrasuede dash and door trim inserts, wood dash inlays, a black headliner, a 7-in TFT LCD meter display, a 360-degree monitor and front and rear parking sensors.
The Mazda6 comes with a full set of standard safety features, including electronic traction and stability control, hill-start assist, collision avoidance and emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist and front, front-seat side-impact and front and rear side curtain airbags.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2019 Mazda6 its highest rating of five stars overall, with five stars in the front and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also gave the Mazda6 is best score of Good in every crash test, as well as a Superior in the crash avoidance and mitigation test.
Behind the Wheel
The standard 187-hp engine is quick enough to satisfy most midsize sedan buyers, plus it offers exceptional fuel economy. However, for those who enjoy the rush of rapid acceleration, there’s a 250-hp turbocharged engine that finally gives the Mazda6 the muscle it needs to compete against the Honda Accord and the Kia Optima. With the addition of the turbocharged motor, we were hoping for a bigger, faster and more comfortable version of the Mazda3, and that’s exactly what we got. Thanks to a retuned suspension, the Mazda6’s already excellent handling gets even better, with a smoother ride, even more precise steering and impressively level cornering. The overall result is a very lively sport sedan as stylish as it is capable.
In the turbocharged car, off-the-line acceleration is brisk, but once the tachometer passes 2,500 rpm, the turbo’s power surge seems to fall off a bit. As a result, the Mazda6 doesn’t have the same exhilarating feel as the turbocharged 4-cylinder engines of some rivals. And, with no manual to play with, the turbocharged Mazda6 cedes some territory to the Honda Accord Sport 2.0T. It’s also important to note the turbo requires premium fuel to achieve its full 250-hp rating. Use anything less and the engine-management computer will adjust by dropping the horsepower. Still, we have no complaints with the Mazda6’s combination of performance, ride quality, safety and interior amenities. If you’re looking for an affordable sedan as fun to drive as it is attractive, this one deserves to be on your top five test-drive list.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Honda Accord — The Accord offers a larger trunk and rear seat plus better fuel economy. Buyers can opt for a manual transmission with the turbocharged engine and, unlike the Mazda6, the Accord offers a hybrid model. The Accord also holds superior resale values.
2019 Toyota Camry — The Camry offers a high-mileage hybrid trim and a V6 engine option, but it’s not as sporty as the Mazda6, and its interior isn’t as polished. Android Auto isn’t available on the Toyota, but the Camry does hold its value better than the Mazda6.
Used Audi A4 — For about the price of a new Grand Touring trim, you can pick up a nicely optioned 2015-2017 Audi A4 and get more features, luxury, performance and style, plus the option of quattro AWD.
In the Mazda6’s case, we’d go with either the Touring trim for its balance of equipment, driver assists and price, or the turbocharged Grand Touring Reserve for its combination of power, features and interior upgrades. If you’re all about shifting your own gears, the smaller Mazda3 is a better choice because, unlike the Mazda6, it offers a manual transmission on the well-equipped Grand Touring trim. Find a Mazda6 for sale